If there’s one work boot manufacturer that needs no introduction, it’s Timberland.
Today, I’ll be talking about the Men’s Boondock. Compared to the brands most popular boots i.e. the Men’s Pitboss, they are a little pricey. But they’re also equipped with a number of added features that I think might make them worth the added cash.
Am I correct, or was I fooled by the boots high end appearance? Read on to find out.
First off, there’s practically no break in period. Give them a day or two of light wear at most and you’ll be good to go.
The second thing that I noticed about these boots is that they definitely run wide. If you have even remotely narrow feet, these boots should be avoided completely.
Personally, I don’t have narrow feet. And I was able to rectify the problem with thicker socks and tighter laces. The result was a decent fitting boot with an ultra roomy toe box i.e. a net positive overall.
Still, it’s disappointing to see such a design defect in a supposedly high end boot. And while they do come with a 30 day money back guarantee, I’m sure that a lot of people won’t want to take the risk.
Aside from this, there is a lot to like, in particular Timberland’s “Anti Fatigue Technology”
Judging from the manufacturers description, this consists of two things:
- Cones which contract and expand to return energy every time your feet hit the ground.
- A contoured insole that provides additional support at key areas i.e. your heal.
Judging from personal experience, all I know is that it works. Long shifts over even the hardest of surfaces no longer punish your feet.
There’s also a fiberglass shank for structural support (good for walking on uneven surfaces) and an external heel cup (good for keeping your heel exactly where it should be).
The result is easily one of Timberland’s most comfortable boots, provided of course, they fit you correctly.
The shaft is a full 6.5 inches i.e. they go up a little higher than standard 6 inch boots. Usually, I don’t like this but there’s plenty of padding and the boot has been designed so that actually tying the laces that high is optional.
If there’s one problem with these boots, aside from running wide, it’s the weight. Most sizes are going over 2.5 pounds a boot.
Safety features on the Boondock consist of a composite toe, electrical hazard protection and slip resistance against both oil and water. As you can see from the image, the outer sole has deep enough grooves to provide excellent traction over any surface. There’s also the aforementioned fibreglass shank. This will provide some protection from sharp objects on the ground but it certainly isn’t puncture proof.
“Waterproof” boots tend to vary massively in terms of how much water they let in but the Boondock score full marks.
The leather comes specially treated and the uppers are also equipped with a waterproof membrane. The result is a boot that will keep your feet dry even if you spend your entire day submerged in a few inches of water.
In terms of insulation, there’s just the leather, no fancy thermo lining here. This makes it a good all year round boot provided you live somewhere with a relatively moderate climate. For sub zero temperatures however, look elsewhere.
Timberland boots tend to be a hit or miss in terms of style. The Boondock however has a refreshing, modern style and while I’m not quite sure what distressed oil brown means, I can confirm that it looks great and goes well with most colors.
At the time of writing, the 6 inch line has been reviewed just shy of 200 times for an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. The most popular feature by far appears to be the simple fact that they keep your feet comfortable past the ten hour mark. The most common complaint by far was the width of the boots. It’s also worth noting that the expected fit rating currently stands at a meager 73%.
For me, it’s too early to tell but unlike some Timberland boots, I don’t see the Boondocks falling apart any time soon. Durability adding features include:
- Double, triple, and quadruple stitching on the uppers.
- Goodyear welt construction combined with cement construction on the heal.
- A pretty serious abrasion resistant toe guard.
If it wasn’t for the wide fit, these boots would get my full recommendation. The higher price tag is easily justified in terms of all day comfort, absolute waterproofing, and what I predict will be long lasting performance. Unfortunately, as it stands, it all comes down to the shape of your feet and deciding for yourself whether or not the pros are worth the risk of buying a boot that doesn’t fit.